Tuesday, February 06, 2007

We're all Basques here?

My Long Suffering Spouse is of Basque descent, on her father's side, her maiden name having all sorts of z's and u's and i's typical of Basque surnames. Maybe this is why this article so intrigued me.

The link is to an article in the October 2006 issue of Prospect, a British magazine, but I read about it first in the current issue of the Wilson Quarterly.

The thesis of the article is that DNA testing shows that the predominant ethnic group in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales are the Basques.

Apparently the Celts and the Angles and the Saxons and the Romans and the Vikings and the Jutes were all relatively small immigrant groups. They took over in various places -- but eventually intermingled with the local population and, in a genetic sense, were overwhelmed by the natives. The native Basques -- who arrived between 7,500 and 15,000 years ago.

Apparently the Basques were not confined just to the Pyrenees regions of Spain and France, as we think today, but were much more widely spread at one time. Only 12% of the modern population of Ireland (quoting the Wilson Quarterly summary) "descends from migrants who came after the Basques." And that would mean all the English and Scots-Irish and Irish who settled these shores... we're probably all Basques, too.

St. Patrick's Day is just not going to be the same for me this year.

Sure now, does this fella look Basque to you?


Jean-Luc Picard said...

St Patrick is Basque? Maybe!!!

Anonymous said...

That's a terrific article, and much food-for-thought. I won't bother discussing it with co-workers though; they wouldn't believe a word of it-

Mother Jones RN said...

Very interesting, and it would explain a lot about some of the fruit hanging on our family tree. Many of my European relatives look Spanish although no one comes from Spain. My Scottish grandfather could have easily passed as a Spaniard. Thanks for the link to the article.